Konverted

23 Jan

Last year was definitive when it came to reading. What I thought was an almost extinct habit, turned out to be just a phase of “not wanting to read”. As blasphemous as that sounds to a reader, it isn’t something that doesn’t happen. Because it does, no matter how astonishing. And it differs from person to person and from time to time, as everything else also does. It’s either a phase of not being able to read or not being able to start a book or not being able to see a book through…you name it and its there. And I think I suffered from all of it because there was a time when books could be read as frequently as well…one checks their phone these days. Of course that is a slight exaggeration because I’m a phone addict wherein I think my phone is (by the laws of being a phone slut) always attached to my hand. It isn’t really the same with books unless carrying a book or having a book by one’s pillow at all times, counts.

When I talk to friends about this, it starts to feel more like an age related thing. We more or less seem to be in a similar boat when we look back over the years. Back then it really didn’t take that long to finish a book and pick the next one up by default, unless you picked multiple books at once if you were that voracious a reader. And if you were a library member, then there was a definite timeline you ensured your reading took place under. I remember my library (which I ought to pay a visit sometime) gave us a period of two weeks from the date of borrowing a book. Whether you read one or ten, whether you read magazines, novels or comics, didn’t matter. Two weeks was it. And reading happened. Then you’d go back like clockwork and get yourself more books. And let’s not talk about holiday time. I just remember hoping so bad that the books I’d dreamed of reading would be around; that the library had had enough funds to buy as many copies of that book because really! everyone wanted that book, and now. It makes me sigh.

I remember the trend changing as the time to “grow up” made its way closer to my languorous life of pages and stories and characters. Books of a different kind took over and what you learnt from those books and how you produced your learnings on paper, gathered more steam. And it sort of remained like that till I finished my 12th grade. It’s not to say I didn’t read, but when I look back, I cannot remember much of what I read…except that it was the age of Potter, if I’m not mistaken. Reading came by force, quickly after, because I had chosen to study English Literature. It was the kind of reading I had never engaged in or dreamed of dabbling with; because Classics intimidate me. I must say I didn’t take Lit. by choice; that it was part and parcel of the combination of subjects that came along with what I wanted to study. Of course I hold no regrets; a book-lover can only ever be glad.

As my academic life progressed, my reading chapter dwindled. And then the world of work made its grand entry. You know what happens when that happens. And so it went. But all throughout, they stayed in touch…they were always there on the side, should I find the need to deep-dive into their pages and lose myself all over again. And somewhere along the way, they made a more definitive re-appearance in my life. Last year was one such. And I couldn’t have been happier. I cannot ever exit a bookshop empty handed. And so I’ve been gathering books I think may like to read, someday. I like the option of having choices…of being able to choose what I feel like reading and exploring. It’s comforting. And so I’ve been doing that. Last year was a good year where the drought seemed to slowly but surely fade away. I think.

And quite unexpectedly, a Kindle came my way. I’ve always stayed on the frays of this argument between the traditionalists and the not-so-traditionalists because I had no opinion. I never really thought of myself as a Kindle user or lover but now that I have one, I can’t seem to stop using it. For one, I’ve read more books in the last few months than I have in so many months collectively. Also, God is it an ease when you’re on the move? And let’s not get started about just how awesome it is to not have your hands/fingers/arms fall asleep as you prop a book up and read in bed. What works for me is that I don’t get to see the size of the book and imagine just how cumbersome a read it could possibly be; because that does affect my capacity to read and complete a book. It helps to not know. I think I’m addicted because while I’d finished the books loaded on my Kindle (barring one), I figured I’d return back to the ones I’d hoarded from before. It was (initially) a bit hard to get back to holding a physical book, flipping through its pages and propping it up in bed (it is a large book).

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At the end of the day, I do truly believe that it’s reading and the love for reading that counts, really. I wouldn’t be able to stand in favour of either side because I’m just happy to be able to read again and see a book through. And through all this reading, I am not ashamed to admit that I have been konverted with no regrets whatsoever. It’s a good thing. It’s those small joys that’s part of the larger joy only a book-lover can comprehend; because really, what better thing is there than to be able to just plain and simple, read?

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